Dear SJA Community,

Seasons greetings to you from the whole SJA family!  As the year comes to a close, we hope you have been able to spend some relaxing time with your family and friends. 

2021 went by in a flash!  We were able to accomplish a lot with your help and support, despite the unstable nature of COVID in our area.  SJA remains dedicated to our three pillars: Education, Outreach and Advocacy.  With these goals in mind, we charged ahead in 2021 with our virtual Japan Day, held in March 2021.  We had over 270 participants and 11 online workshops, including origami, ikebana, an art workshop and anime watch party.  We want to thank all the leaders, teachers and supporters that made those events possible.  

With society opening up in late spring, we were able to hold two in person, outdoor events.  Tanabata in July saw over 300 participants and 6 different booth activities, including yukata dress up, tanzaku making and kendama.  We also held a mini boro ichi (flea market) in which we sold some Japanese books and toys.  In October, we partnered with Washington DC Omotesenke (tea ceremony) to host an Autumn Harvest Tea Ceremony.  We welcomed over 50 guests who enjoyed traditional Japanese tea and sweets under a lovely (but windy) autumn day.

We are hard at work planning a new year’s ikebana workshop that we hope you will come and enjoy as well.  Please pencil in Saturday, January 29 from 3-5pm for this spectacular workshop!

Throughout 2021, we continued to hold online origami and beginning Japanese language classes as well.  We supported adult classes with Arlington Community Learning and YEP (Youth Enrichment Program) with Arlington Public Schools.  

Finally, our advocacy team continued to meet with APS world language leaders to help ensure the vitality of the Japanese language program in APS.  Thanks in part to SJA’s efforts, APS was able to hire a second Japanese language teacher to teach expanded language programs at Wakefield and Yorktown High Schools.

I’d like to thank the SJA board and dedicated volunteers for all their effort and passion this year.  SJA would be nothing without you!  

As 2021 draws to a close, we hope that in some small part, SJA has been a part of your life, and that we will see you soon in 2022.


Happy Holidays from SJA!


Jennifer Swanson

SJA President

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